What to Expect in a Top Golf Course AppAugust 13, 2015
62 ways that the RIGHT app can be a major asset your golf courseNovember 17, 2015
Following my article on the top 10 things that are in a golf app, I have been posed the question “how does a golf app benefit club owners and golfers” a few times now, so in answer to that question I thought I would do a blog on the benefits for the clubs and for the players – plus a few things to watch out for if you are considering your own app.
Benefits of having a good app can be measured in number of different ways.
Some of it is less measurable items are like branding, prestige and reputation. Being able to provide golf members and visitors with a sleek app that serves a focal point for all things relating to your club enhances both clubs’ reputation and complete accessibility for the players (It has also been shown that having the app icon on their device increases your brand awareness at a more subconscious level).
Other benefits of good golf club apps include the interaction and involvement between the golfers and course owners in the form of tournaments and scorecards.With individual groups of friends playing together, the best apps can retain the data from the last game(s) and encourage repeat playing at the club with them having their own friendly competitions. And for those that are seeking simple self improvement, what better way to track your progress?
With tournaments, the better apps can beam live data as the round’s progress giving live scoring to other users and/or directly to the clubhouse screen, making it much more of an involved sport for all those involved.
Another great function of the better apps is that they can push notifications directly to the players phones letting them know of upcoming events and encourage greater participation.
Being able to encourage repeat play and greater involvement in tournaments and matches will, in turn, increase the revenue for club.
More direct ways that clubs benefit can benefit are:
- Advertising space/sponsorship
- Promotion of all upcoming events
- Direct booking of tees (or hotel accommodation)
- Special offers
- Food and beverage (a few apps send a message at the 18th to see if the golfers would like refreshments)
- Sales from the ProShop
Golfers gain in number of ways - everything they need is to hand; it’s slick, fast and instantly accessible - from weather to tee booking (and in some cases can even order their food before they get back to the clubhouse!).
The main benefit to the golfer is that they have practical and useful course guides, flyovers, pro-tips and scorecards. This is now only a great thing to have at your fingertips but can actually help them improve their game, familiarise themselves with the course and help bring them together and arrange future games
Another great aspect of the app is there is no need to consult different programs, websites (example bookings), apps (weather/directions), etc, as everything that the golfer needs to know for their game is right at their finger tips all within one beautifully designed app.
Not everything is good – we all know - that so below are a few things that were thrown up during our research that you might like to keep an eye out for (plus remedies from the more thought out apps).
One thing we did hear about was how much administration some of the well intentioned, but maybe not thought out fully for all users, needed. Some apps required so much input from the club itself that the apps were abandoned or not used for its full intended purpose. From our review, the best apps once set up have very little in the way of administration for the club.
A few elements like sending notifications, events or special offers do require some input, but it often is a fair quick and painless job with the clubs having a secure access to own clubhouse User Interface to add these on, which then in turn, pushes this to the devices.
If you opt for the cheaper web or hybrid app versions you might find that your golfers might complain due to lack of coverage or it eating their data allowance as everything is pulled from the web – this includes course guides, flyovers, scoring, etc.
Although some functions will require a connections (like uploading to social media) Native apps can store all videos, images, course details, etc, within the app itself thus avoiding slow or non loading of items. Also in areas of no coverage any input data - like scores to the clubhouse (not for individual rounds as this is done within the app itself) and social media - items are polled and then sent once it establishes a connection again.
There are some really neat apps out there that give GPS location, yardage to the hole and even some that will recommend a club for you. These great for those golfers looking to improve their game and for those unfamiliar with the course as it takes away some of the guesswork.
However, for a club to offer this in their app it does cause conflict if they wish to use the app for matches and tournaments as these functions are illegal and that in turn renders the use of the club’s app useless, unless they get an outside program specific for the matches that require a separate login and locks the user out of the main app until they have finished their round.